A Sort of Rebirth

I feel as though I am coming out of a fog or haze. My loneliness is starting to lift. I still feel it at certain times. Sometimes it hits me like a brick, SMACK! I think of times with Michele, just quick takes of her and us doing something insignificant. It does not matter what, it is just being together, sharing the moment. Talking on the phone and email are saving me. It is my communication to what I know. I do not want to get too far away from that. Salbitani says that I should cut the chord, cut it clean, but for some reason I feel I need to keep something.

Yesterday I went to the country with Stefano and Amy. She just moved here from Moscow. She is an American photographer who has been working as a stringer for several agencies. Her and Stefano feel in love during a workshop in Tuscany a few years ago. Now, she is looking for new opportunities and moved here to join Stefano and to look for a different life. She is sweet, he is wonderful, and together they should do just fine.

We went to the small town of Buda, about an hour north of Bologna, to a small osteria, known for its hand made pasta. We met the chief who totally enjoys his work and it shows, he is about 300 pounds of jolly-ness and happiness. We also planned to met several of Stefano's friends at the osteria. Many showed interest in my project. One woman's father is a press photographer who I intend to meet and discuss my project with. The others are wonderful people who show great amounts of happiness being together.

At one point the lounge singer arrived and started to sing with his one man electronic band. Suddenly a few minutes later the chief appeared and sang a few songs. He has a good 'full-gut' sounding voice. All of the music was sad, but it seemed funny to hear it being sang by such a large fellow dressed in his cooking clothes. At one point during one of the breaks, there was an Asian man who was with us and was quiet as we ate. He got up and went to talk to the musician, and all of a sudden he too started to sing. He sounded like Pavarotti. He has an amazing, full, rich, deep, voice! Quite a surprise and quite a treat to hear. I later found out he is in Bologna on a fellowship studying opera, and doing quite well, I'd say. After he sang a few numbers the chief reappeared and they did a duet. The empty osteria was filled with cultural sounds from all over the world.

We sat there for three hours and enjoyed each others company, the music, and of course the food and wine. As the day went on I noticed the sun setting. It was a beautiful golden disk shinning in the window. I had to get out and see it.

Experiencing any sunset takes me to sunsets I've been at years before. By being a part of one I can transform myself to others that I have had the honor of witnessing. I also realize that people from all over the world may stop and take notice in this ritual that is a part of our everyday life.

Once outside I noticed the cats, dogs, birds and the quiet (except for the blaring voices singing some sad and lonely song inside). There was a peace that filled my heart. I felt happy, I felt sad, I felt renewed, I felt alive!

After drinking, eating, paying and taking the usual Italian 30 minutes to get out of the door we went for a walk. The sun had just disappeared. The air immediately got cool. But I felt a warmth in my heart (especially hearing from Michele that they got 14 inches of snow in Rochester). As we walked I started to think of the celebrations that our societies have each year. I began to think of Christmas and all of the gatherings that take place. I decided that it is a mixture of feelings for me (and millions of others). We gather to celebrate (what for I often wonder if we know). But the idea seemed to have two meanings to me. One of celebration the other of tension and a rehashing of old built up family tensions and commercialism.

I find that in every situation there are at least two inter- pretations. And surely Christmas has many!